Oh my gosh you all—I am a bee!!! And I couldn’t possibly “bee” any more excited. (I swear, I’m done—you just don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to do that!)
When I got the email from Mrs. Mouse today informing me that I’d been chosen to share my wedding planning ups and downs with all of you I couldn’t believe it! I won’t lie, I was in the midst of watching a Taylor Swift concert DVD (yep, I’m a 27 year old who watches concert DVDs, and not just any concert DVDs, Taylor Swift ones…but in fairness, I’m in withdrawal since seeing her live a couple Saturdays ago in Pittsburgh) and literally screamed at the TV, “Oh my GOD, Taylor, shut up!!!” when I couldn’t find the remote to pause it. I needed to take a moment in silence and carefully re-read the email to ensure I hadn’t projected what I really wanted to see instead of what was really there and sure enough, as I slowly poured over the email again—it was in fact a letter of acceptance! I began jumping up and down and tossing all the pillows off the couch in search of my phone to call Mr. Orchard.
As soon as he answered I let out some completely unintelligible shrieks and somehow (probably because he’s my soul mate) he just knew. “You got it?!” he asked calmly. “YES!” I screamed, and he quickly got off the phone and came home early to celebrate with me!
So why Miss Orchard? The answer is simple really. I grew up in the Yakima Valley in Washington state—a part of the state that is full of agriculture because it’s basically an irrigated desert. It’s full of beautiful vineyards, open land with amazing views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, and, you guessed it, apple and cherry orchards. In fact, a few summers of my youth were spent picking cherries for extra cash (and let me tell you, it is NOT easy work). I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, but don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:
Image via Yakima Valley Tourism
So who exactly are the Orchards? So glad you asked!
This is Mr. Orchard and me being…well…us. I’m chatting his ear off about something and gesturing wildly, and he’s making faces at me—the usual really!
Image via Hannah Silverman Photography
Mr. Orchard and I met the same way one in five other couples meet…online. We started exchanging emails, and after a few weeks we were ready to meet each other face to face. We set up a date at a little diner in town on a sleepy Sunday morning in October, giving each other the perfect out if the date was a disaster. Fortunately for us both, instead of cutting it short we decided to extend our date and take a trip to a beautiful local antique mall. There we spent hours looking through history, sharing exciting (or weird) finds with one another, until we stumbled upon this little box of tintype photos. I immediately did what I always do, make up a little story to go with whatever I’m seeing (it’s the English teacher in me), and without missing a beat Mr. Orchard joined right in. By the end of the pile we had an entire soap opera storyline going and we couldn’t stop giggling. We left the antique mall and took the long way home, stopping to look out over the Big Sandy River and just enjoy each other’s company. Mr. Orchard drove me back to my car, gave me a hug, and promised to call soon.
Later that night I was at a haunted house with a few friends (I seriously LOVE Halloween) and recapped the date to them. I mentioned that the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh (an hour and a half drive away) was hosting an exhibit of Alex Ross art (any comic book fans out there?) and that I thought it would be fun to take Mr. Orchard. My friends quickly encouraged me to just text him and invite him. I knew that was a direct violation of any first date rules (you’re supposed to wait at least a day, right?), but with very little goading I whipped out my phone and asked him on a second date and he agreed! Before long we were seeing each other once a week, then a little more, and then one night in November Mr. Orchard and I decided we were a couple. And by that I mean that I couldn’t take not knowing what we were (friends? a couple? more? less?), so I asked him in a very
smooth lame way, “Hey, Mr. Orchard, are we a thang? Like you know…a couple kind of thing?” He looked at me for a moment and then laughed and quickly (and kindly) assured me that yes, we were a “thang.”
The months that followed are full of so many amazing memories—meeting each other’s friends and family, road trips, holidays, and by the following summer we decided we were ready to move in together, so we found an adorable house in need of all kinds of repairs and decided to make it our own! When we’re not working, Mr. Orchard and I will make any excuse to get out and explore both near and far. While we are perfectly happy to spend an evening in cooking dinner (he cooks, I cheer him on!) and reading or taking in a movie, we’re also equally happy to grab dinner or drinks at one of many locally owned restaurants that we love with friends or check out a local music or theater show.
Our interests have definitely had a huge impact on the wedding we’re planning. We want it to be highly personal and full of music and fun and local (and DIY) flair. We love antiques and all things vintage and retro, so we’ve been collecting items to fill our reception space with (including LOTS of milk glass vases—with tons of help from Mr. Orchard’s mama). Fall is our favorite season, and while I think the gorgeous jewel tones usually associated with fall weddings are lovely, autumn to me always paints imagery of warm, cozy, and neutral tones, so I chose a color scheme that is full of soft blush pinks, champagne, and ivory tones, accompanied by some gold accents to liven it up. Because so many of our guests are traveling from out of state (my family is still primarily in Washington and Mr. O’s family hails mostly from Missouri), we want to make sure that every single person feels welcomed and appreciated, so we’re focused on making sure that while it’s a spectacular day for us, it’s also pretty awesome for them!
I couldn’t be happier to share my experiences with all of you amazing bees out there! Buckle up—it’s going to be a fun ride!